By Lani Ritter-Hall
Administrative expectations, pacing charts â€”
Students engaged in inquiry project based learningâ€”
PEARLS PLPers – cognizant of the tension of expectations and needs of their students– gather in their virtual learning community supporting, nudging each otherâ€”delving into the issue of “time” for project based learningâ€”an issue raised in an Elluminate session by some community members to whom the concept of inquiry is new and for whom the pressures of “time” and/or expectations loom large–
In response, their colleagues raise their voicesâ€”
Advocating risk taking and use of technology–
With the emphasis put on students passing state tests, most schools have moved away from allowing students to be risk-takers or creative and have everything structured for test taking skills. It is sad that they don’t realize how big a role technology can play by trying to integrate it into the curriculum across the board Marianne Troia — PS 18
Suggesting a personal strategy from which others might learn–
Certainly using an inquiry approach may take extra time in the beginning because we are learning how to do so. I think once questioning becomes habitual (for both us and the kids), it may not require extra time. I suppose it’s important to start with the end in mind…what is it you want the students to learn (standards) and then approach the teaching differently. Much easier said than done…I’m starting with small steps. Just asking questions about topics before they are introduced/discussed. I know I have a lot to learn about the inquiry driven approach… Not only will the in-depth knowledge gained by using this approach be instrumental in understanding current material, it will also help our students to develop skills that will help them to be successful self-directed learners in the future. Denise Olsen — St. Clare
Passionately advocating for inquiry, project based learning–
I think the teachers need to see how worthwhile it can be to the learning going on in their classrooms before they really embrace the idea with open arms. It would be great if we were given extra time to experiment with new and exciting teaching strategies and technologies available at our fingertips, but realistically it’s up to the teacher to be passionate about it and make the time if they ever hope or plan to be successful with these approaches in their classrooms. The inquiry approach can be a very intimidating one to teachers that have never explored it before, but with the right amount of dedication and collaboration their among fellow teachers anything is possible- even in an already full curriculum. Katie Christy PS 18
In a world of “trained test takers” we need to teach our students how to be “thinkers” first. They need to ask critical questions, make connections to their personal lives and to the world around them- most importantly learn to take chances.
Teachers have to learn to do the same…. Take chances, pose new questions, let there be a “buzz” in the room.
Learn through inquiry and let our kids make mistakes…..their mistake might be an answer to another unsolved problem! Bryant Romano — PS 44
Nudging, encouraging –from community members also immersed in restrictive environments – yet modeling taking chances, posing new questions– so much more powerful and effective than any contribution or question from me– helping to shift perspectives of others while clarifying their own thinkingâ€”reminding me of the challenges inherent in change.
“Teachers have to learn to do the same…. Take chances, pose new questions, let there be a “buzz” in the room.” That “buzz” is perceptible in the communityâ€” what a sweet sound, and in the background I find myself surreptitiously working on its amplification —
Lani Ritter Hall
Latest posts by Lani Ritter Hall (see all)
- Through new lenses– - January 5, 2015
- Connected Coaching: Reflections & a new course starting soon! - September 24, 2013
- Virtual Classroom Visit — Sketch Up and Google Hangouts in a 3rd grade classroom - April 15, 2013